Dh has become increasingly frugal lately. We have both always been a little frugal - but lately he has moved towards more frugal and I have moved towards less. I am not sure how to reconcile the two. For what it is worth we make acceptable money for our area - we never have trouble feeding anyone or paying the mortgage.
I am dreading January. We have costs for Archery (which we have taken every year for 4 years coming up) costs for Drama (which I told DH DD was doing back in September, but I am sure he forgot) plus i would really like to buy a microscope for her. She has really gotten into science lately, and I have spent so little money (under $20) on in-house resources for her this year.
DH is going to grumble. This is really just a vent. I am tempted to just buy the dang microscope and hear about it later (yes, I know is a bad idea).
Is there a way to set up a separate budget for kid stuff like that? I have a separate account with some money in it that I just spend as I like. DH can access it, but he doesn't. And then I have money I don't have to quibble about or deal with the reprecussions of spending later.
I culd write a book about this! A couple of weeks ago, I had this day planned for us- free day at children's museum, visiting the christmas market (free) and zoo lights at night with discounted tickets. It cost about 15 dollars plus gasf or about the 20 mile round trip, but DH was like what? We can't do that all day! It's gonna be way too expensive! I was liek ARGGGHHHHH how much cheaper can I be without becoming a hermit?? We laughed about it afterwards and we did end up going but i could see DH tallying it up in his head as we walked, like we had spent 50 dollars on gas instead of 5 or 6. I am also trying to get him to sign up for a CSA with our tax return, but he doesn;t want to have to drive to pick it up at all- even though it is a very similar distance to the farmer's market that I went to every saturday last year Sorry not much help, just a similar vent
Have you priced private schools in your area? How much would you be spending per kid per year if they went there? What are the activity fees? Even in public school, there are field trip fees, supply fees, etc. I assume your kids would be taking archery and drama even if they went to school & your daughter might want a microscope even more after using one at school. Public schools spend a certain amount of money per year to educate each student. It makes sense that you, too, need to spend some money to educate your students. Those are my responses :)
DD (4.25.08) DD (4.23.10) DD (10.13.12)
My husband is frugal-ish in many ways but he doesn't care at all what I spend on the kids if he thinks that I think it's important (which it is!) In short, he trusts my judgement. Maybe have a discussion about how his frugal behaviour makes you feel and point out that your views are just as valid as his are. Maybe point out spending that he may do (tech stuff, tools, books, etc.) that serve his hobbies and show that the kids have their own hobbies that need to be included in the budget. It may be good to set up a monthly or yearly amount for each child and work within that so he is not surprised by any spending you might do during the month/year.
However, I always second guess my own purchases. I hate waisting money! Some strategies I've devised are:
-- Use a portion of any child tax credit/benefit on educational supplies/experiences/classes, etc. (in Canada we get a monthly amt. for each child)
-- Use any gift money for the children (birthdays, Christmas, etc.) for these items instead of on toys -- also request money in lieu of gifts OR request specific store's gift cards or specific educational items. You could also ask a relative (grandparent?) to help pay for classes in lieu of gifts for the kids.
-- You could look for a group that does skill sharing or swapping type of thing. For example, could you trade something (child care, etc.) for someone else to teach your child a skill (piano, drawing, etc)? We have that kind of thing in my city.
-- Check out used book sales or kid's consignment stores. They often have lots of 'educational' type things at a super reduced cost. If you don't like it, you can always sell it back to them!
Hope this helps!
I am super frugal (cough*cheap*cough) and hate to spend anything. So the thing that makes ME feel good is to have a sinking fund for such expenses. So if archery has an annual fee, then put 1/12th of it away every month. So there's no surprise and no pinch when it comes up. If your husband is like me, he is not begrudging the activities or anything themselves but just thinking "oh man, I thought we'd be able to put away/pay off $X this month, there goes that plan" and it's disappointing. But a sinking fund means it doesn't happen; the money is already allocated and there's no big bite.
I have sinking funds for both very specific things and also more general categories (one is "homeschooling" and that's what I'd use to buy a microscope with, for example).
Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.
Ask your dh what he enjoyed doing as a kid. For example, did he love playing soccer? If yes, then his parents probably paid for his uniforms, shoes, and trips. Did he love to paint? Did he have model trains? that kind of stuff. Maybe that will serve as a gentle reminder that not all great activities are free. Michelangelo had to pay for marble sometimes.
Another perspective - if your dh works, he expects to get paid. Taekwondo instructors, violin teachers, dance teachers usually expect to have a salary, too.
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